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January 7, 2022

by Chris Sorrenti

First entry of the new year.

And what a grueling two days it was. Tuesday and Wednesday, earlier this week, that is. Groceries, Tuesday noonish, and MRI for my knee that night.

My appointment was at 9:15pm. At one point in the waiting room, I turned to the guy sitting beside me and said, “They must be busy, scheduling appointments this late at night.” He replied, “This is nothing, I was here three months ago, and my appointment was at 2am.”

As I learned yesterday from friends on Facebook, MRI is a 24/7 operation here in Ottawa, due to the lack of machines, and demand. For some reason they’re doing them at CHEO, the children’s hospital.

I took a cab there and back, as I don’t feel safe anymore riding the transit system at night. Not that anything bad has ever happened to me personally, but there have been reports in recent years of different types of altercations, from verbal exchanges (I’ve witnessed some of those) to physical assaults, swarming. Certainly, no longer safe for women to be traveling alone at night, as there have been sexual assaults near bus stations.

30 years ago, I rode the bus at night all the time, during my public poetry days. A lot of events; readings, book launches, workshops, took place at night. I can vividly recall (and feel) waiting for a bus on Bank Street in the Glebe, in -30-degree weather, 10 o’clock at night. Often though, I was able to catch a lift with a fellow writer at the end of an evening. Once back home, I would usually go to bed at midnight, and get up at 6 the next morning, to catch another bus to work. Don’t miss that aspect of it at all. Met a lot of nice people over the years through the writing community. Sadly, many of them are gone now.

In any case, hopefully this MRI will shed some light on my torn ligament knee. I keep thinking though, if I need an eventual knee replacement, when would it happen? The hospitals are so backed up with regular surgeries due to Covid and staff shortages, it could take months if not years to finally get it done.

Wednesday morning, I had an 11am dentist appointment at St. Laurent; just a regular cleaning and checkup. Look ma! No cavities! I take very good care of what teeth I have left in my mouth; which despite small gaps, is just enough to keep chewing. The thought of having to wear dentures scares the bejabbers out of me.

Took the bus and LRT there and back, with no issues with the train, as in derailment lol. It was hard on my knee though. It’s a bit of a hike from the LRT station to my dentist’s office in a nearby office tower. Here I am in heavy winter boots, trudging through St. Laurent shopping centre. After my appointment, I again walked through the mall, but to the food court, for a bucket of KFC, a little custom/reward to myself for making another trip to the dentist. Once said chicken had been bought, I got lost trying to find my way back to the LRT station. St. Laurent is a huge mall, but thanks to direction signs here and there, I eventually found my way back to the train.

I stopped on my way back for a few more groceries. By the time I finally made it home around 1:30pm, I was exhausted, and my knee was aching. Yesterday, Thursday, was better, a quiet day to catch my breath, put my leg up, under the heating pad, with an ample amount of codeine.

I’m always glad to get medical appointments out of the way, with a sense of accomplishment and wellbeing at having done something good for myself. Out and about in fresh air, despite the virus, is quite helpful also. My next medical is Cataract surgery at the end of February.

Meanwhile, Ontario is in another stage 2 (partial) lockdown, due to Omicron. Restaurants, gyms closed, with reduced to 50% capacity for other businesses, such as movie theatres. Schools closed, with students back to online learning.

Some days, admittedly, I’m depressed, and even scared. The silver lining is that Omicron, despite its quick spread, doesn’t seem to be as lethal as Delta. I feel somewhat secure with my double-vax status, but would like to get my booster before the Cataract surgery arrives. My local pharmacy is giving them out, but intermittently. As January progresses, and the demand hopefully dies down a bit, I’ll be putting more energy into the search, including checking out the provincial portal. Who knows? I may end up having to go back down to City Hall, where I got my first two shots last year.

© 2022

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Posted on 01/07/2022
Copyright © 2022 Chris Sorrenti

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